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Gray Flexible Piping

I have a gray flexible piping water system in my condo built about 1984. What kind of pipe is it? There have been numerous failures at the conections of this pipe. Is there an easy way to change over to new pipe?

Re: Gray Flexible Piping

It's polybutylene pipe and based on my personal experiences I believe that its failure is due to either a bad choice of connections or poor installation technique.

Re: Gray Flexible Piping

There was a class action suit some years back over this pipe system. The main problem was failures of the connections; they were considered defective (no matter how they were installed).

Ease of replacement all depends on how it was installed. If it all runs in a crawl space it shouldn't be too difficult, but on up into a second story there will likely be nothing easy about it.

I'd recommend PEX (cross-linked polyethylene). Some of the PEX requires special tools for the fittings, though. Second choice would be CPVC (cream colored). If you use CPVC, where transition to threaded is needed, use the adapters with brass or copper threads. I've seen the ones with plastic threads fail. PVC (white colored) is OK for outdoor lines & sprinklers, but it isn't recommended indoors and isn't designed for hot water.

Re: Gray Flexible Piping

It needs to be replaced. You might check with your building dept and see if there is money available from the class action suite. I would go with PEX.

Re: Gray Flexible Piping

The plumbing in my house is all Poly 'B' including the fittings, people keep telling me to replace it with Pex, it has been 22 years now and still no problems or leaks yet.

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